X Train to operate Santa Fe Southern excursion trains

RELATED TOPICS: TOURIST RAILROADS | PASSENGER
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Las Vegas X Train Holdings will operate Santa Fe Southern excursion trains under a new contract between the two companies. The trains will operate 18 miles between Santa Fe and Lamy, N.M., on a former Santa Fe branch line. The railroad was featured recently on season 5 of the television series Breaking Bad, but has not operated regular excursion service since October 2012.

“While SFSR will not receive any immediate cash from this transaction, it provides a way to restore a vital and living part of history, the rail service from the connection with Amtrak, America’s national passenger railway, to the historic capital of the southwest, Santa Fe. This has been the central goal of SFSR since its inception in 1992, and this contract provides the best way to offer the service on a sustainable, attractive basis,” said Karl Ziebarth, chairman and chief executive of the railroad. The railroad will connect with Amtrak’s Southwest Chief at Lamy.

According to the agreement, X Train Holdings will take over passenger service contract rights and provide the capital necessary to bring the track and equipment back into service. Railroad personnel will continue to provide transportation services, and will be compensated by X Train to operate the equipment.

The line was built by the New Mexico & Southern Pacific Railroad, opened in 1880, and leased to the Santa Fe in 1884. Santa Fe sold the line to a group of investors on March 13, 1992, that formed the Santa Fe Southern. The railroad handled about 500 cars in the mid-1990s, but now there is no freight business on the line.

Las Vegas Railway Express, Inc., doing business as X Train Holdings, announced earlier this year their plan to partner with or acquire existing passenger rail services. The company said it is continuing to pursue development of passenger rail service between Southern California and Las Vegas.

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